Thousands of protesters poured into the streets of Ottawa after the Freedom Convoy arrived in the city. The vehicles, which were joined by dozens of private citizens' vehicles too, clogged the traffic blocking the main roads of entry and exit of the city. The convoy was made up of hundreds of truck drivers from all over the state, who had travelled for days to gather in Ottawa, in front of the seat of the Canadian Parliament, and ask for the non-application of the measure that provides for the vaccination obligation for workers who must cross the border.
They claim that some of the harms caused by restrictions are stress, health problems, anxiety, depression…coupled with the loss of jobs and support from the State.
Despite the high level of alert for possible tensions, the organizers urged the demonstrators to maintain a peaceful atmosphere and during the first days of the protests, the police announced that luckily there were no violent incidents or injuries.
But things changed.
In the past few days, there have been some incidents and quite a few arrests and the international media attention was given to the protest especially on social media so the ‘Freedom Convoy’ became a movement followed also by many protesters group in Europe for instance.
Back in my home country indeed, unless you have a ‘Green Pass’ you aren’t allowed to work as of now and truckers are getting inspired by the Canadian Freedom Convoy.
On TV, the organizers of the protest stated that they do not define themselves as antivaxxers, but they do oppose the obligation to get vaccinated in order to be able to work. The demonstration was joined by various groups belonging to various protest realities and with different types of claims, expanding the protests to all the measures adopted by the government against the pandemic.
Some of the protesters would have come to demand the removal of the Trudeau government, judged unable to manage the pandemic situation and the organizers have already managed to raise approximately millions of dollars via the GoFundMe web platform, currently on hold and waiting to understand how they will be used.
Prime Minister Trudeau said he is concerned about the possibility of a violent drift of the demonstration, due to the presence of a small group of people who represent a threat to themselves and to others and that do not represent the Canadian population.
At the moment, it is not possible to determine how many days the mobilization will last and in Ottawa, the police are strongly repressing citizens' protests against anti-Covid government measures and, doing so, the agents engaged in somewhat violent conduct, but despite this the mainstream media did not actually put the magnifying glass on them.
Whatever one’s opinion might be, Canada is a country that allows peaceful protests and for the most part allows its citizens to gather and show their dissent. Freedom of speech and respect for others’ opinions are at the top of the rights of all Canadian citizens and I can safely say that Canada is a country where everyone is welcome, whether their opinion is mainstream or even if it is a bit “unusual.”